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Shanghai Triad (1995)
"Yao a yao, yao dao wai po qiao" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  22 December 1995 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,710 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 27 critic

A provincial boy related to a Shanghai crime family is recruited by his uncle into cosmopolitan Shanghai in the 1930s to be a servant to a ganglord's mistress.

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Title: Shanghai Triad (1995)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Xiao Jingbao
Baotian Li ...
Tang, the Gang Boss
Wang Xiaoxiao ...
Shuisheng, the boy
...
Liu, 6th Uncle
Chun Sun ...
Song, Tang's No. 2
Biao Fu ...
Zheng, Tang's No.3
Shu Chen ...
Shi Ye
Jiang Liu ...
Fat Yu
Baoying Jiang ...
Cuihua, the Widow
Yang Qianquan ...
Ah Jiao
Ying Gao
Weiming Gao
Lian Shuliang
Ya'nan Wang
Zhang Yayun
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Storyline

Uncle Liu brings his cousin to Shanghai to work for 'Boss,' the leader of a powerful drug empire in the 1930's. Shuisheng, a simple country boy is awed and overwhelmed by the opulence and immense wealth he is suddenly surrounded by. He is to be the attendant of Xiao Jingbao, the new mistress of 'Boss.' While he fumbles with the demands of his new role, much intrigue is going on around him, well beyond his bewildered perception. Xiao Jingbao is having a tumultuous affair, Fat Yu is starting a gang war, and 'Boss' is beginning to suspect that one of his trusted men is not loyal. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

shanghai | uncle | mistress | 1930s | servant | See more »

Taglines:

In 1930's Shanghai violence was not the problem. It was the solution.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and images of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shanghai Triad  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

SGD 780,000 (Singapore)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was a difficult film for Yimou Zhang to make. His relationship with his leading lady Li Gong was coming to an acrimonious end and the Chinese authorities were deliberately hassling him with complicated and elusive work permits. That was mainly because they were still annoyed with him for submitting his previous film To Live (1994) to the Cannes Film Festival without their permission. See more »

Quotes

6th Uncle: [to Shuisheng] All the kids in our family want to come here to get rich, but you're the only one I recommended. Don't let me down.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A Simple Beautifully Told Story
28 July 2004 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

This is a fine movie - wonderfully acted, beautifully shot, quite simple. Without being heavy-handed, one comes to sense the presence of real evil that tempts and corrupts and destroys. It's a little slow at times because the story is so simple - yet the slowness and simplicity does allow the messages of the movie to hit home. Something else I like is that the protagonist boy is not made to be cute or winning - he just is who he is - largely an observer but sometimes acting with generosity and sometimes with contempt.

Much has been said by others about the beautiful cinematography and that's certainly true - but I'm also struck by the amazing work of those who constructed or chose the sets, costumes, background characters - they were quite memorable. What a star in Gong Li, and what a director!

I don't agree with those who contrast this with American movies - surely we feel the same evil in watching either version of Scarface or The Petrified Forest or The Road to Perdition.

In fact, I would say this movie is most like The Road to Perdition of any I've seen - not in its story particularly but in its tone, its simplicity, its contrasts of character, its cinematography.

This is also a good movie for those who say they don't like foreign movies - you'll like this one.


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